The Chicago Blackhawks major question mark is going to be goaltending, and that is not going to change.
With Collin Delia and Malcolm Subban as the only two goalies under contract to play with minimal experience in the NHL, this is not a bright spot for the Blackhawks. Their age doesn’t do them any favors either, with both goalies being 26 years of age.
Collin Delia looks to be the better of the two goalie options, making desperation saves here and there during his time as the backup. He finished with a 7-5-3 record with a 3.65 GAA and a .906 save percentage. He accomplished this behind a worse defense core than he would play behind this year. With an improved defense, Delia could thrive as the starter, but that won’t be known until the season starts.
Malcolm Subban would be the backup, but he isn’t the best option to go back to if Delia struggles. Behind a strong, defensive team like the Vegas Golden Knights, Subban finished with a 9-7-3 record, and a 0.890 save percentage and a 3.18 GAA. The save percentage is the question mark here. If he couldn’t have a 0.900 save percentage with Vegas, I don’t think he will fare very well playing goal behind a worse defense core the Blackhawks currently possess. This is solely based off of the stats and the fact Subban played 19 games for the Golden Knights and earned a 0.890 SV% is questionable. Stats wise, Delia should be the starter, with Subban as the backup.
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The Blackhawks are riding unproven goaltenders this coming season, and they can make or break the season. The superstar veterans of the team have been vocal in their disappointment and frustration with the direction of the team.
Stan Bowman has said that they are going to focus on the development of their young players moving forward. Fans may not like this because this means that Jeremy Colliton will be here for a while. But Colliton has been said to have a knack for developing young prospects into quality NHL players.
Stan Bowman made multiple trades in the offseason, sending quality players for an underwhelming return. But I do think that, with the up-and-coming young prospects on the way, and IF the goaltenders perform, the ‘Hawks won’t be rebuilding but stacking up at the trade deadline for the playoffs. Their system needs to change, but they added the right pieces to become a blackhorse contender.
Will the Hawks be a playoff team? Honestly, only time will tell.